VCI looks to end manual automation

My last stop at NAB was at the VCI booth (SU727). There I met up with Jamie Meyer, the division manager for automation systems at VCI. I'd met with him briefly last year, but this was my first time to sit down with him and talk. What he's excited about is that KEYE-TV, which uses VCI's autoXe MC automation system, was just announced as the winner in the Station Automation category in the Broadcast Engineering Excellence Awards.

Jamie says that what makes the system so strong is that the database is at the foundation. With digital content, the metadata surrounding content is becoming more important, he says, with the database as the foundation on which the applications reside.

Automation is supposed to eliminate manual activities, but automation can create new manual duties when applications are housed in separate systems. Jamie says the autoXe MC puts all the applications on a single workstation.

He called over Jeff Wood, manager of training and support, over to show me a demo. The demo allowed for management of eight channels, ingest of satellite feed, segmenting long-form material and ingesting short-form media to the server. The system can manage many more channels -- 50 or more according to company information -- on one screen.

Listen to Jamie talk about the autoXe MC.

Related articles: New automation products seen in 2007; WTVF adds satellite control with VCI; VCI automation and traffic to support SMPTE BXF standard.